Friday 14 August 2009
Here's Gavin with news of tonight's programme:
Quote for the Day:
"I would not wish it on anybody. We have a system where the most salient facts of it are that you get huge waiting lists, you have bad survival rates and you would much rather fall ill in the United States" - Tory MEP Daniel Hannan criticising the NHS on Fox News in the United States.
In Newsnight tonight we will debate not so much Daniel Hannan's views as the political ructions they have caused for the Conservative party. Is he an "eccentric" as David Cameron called him, a maverick with rather odd views? Or does he represent - as Labour claim - the hidden side of the Conservative party when it comes to the NHS? We'll debate with the Health Secretary and his Conservative opposite number.
Plus, somebody recently asked one of my friends what the word "culture" means to the British. He suggested that to many of us "culture" is a kind of mouldy growth in a petri dish. Even if that is not quite right the British "Cultural Olympiad" was supposed to be a kind of arts centrepiece leading up to the London Olympics in 2012. But is it turning out to be a kind of Millennium Dome of the head - expensive and wasteful? We'll discuss.